Nuan Nuan heads back to China on Nov 14: Wan Junaidi

KUALA LUMPUR: Come Nov 14, there will not be a dry eye when Malaysian-born female Giant Panda cub, Nuan Nuan heads back to China for good.

Natural Resources and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar said the 82kg cub would be sent directly to the Dujiangyan Panda Base in Sichuan, China via Malaysia Airlines Kargo Sdn Bhd.

"The Giant Panda cub is currently undergoing crate training where it is put into a special cage for a few hours a day in order to familiarise itself with the limited space of movement.

"Nuan Nuan will be separated from its mother and will only be exhibited to the public during weekends, public holidays and school holidays," he said in his speech at the Farewell Ceremony for Nuan Nuan at Giant Panda Conservation Centre (GPCC) here today.

Dr Wan Junaidi said, while deciding to send Nuan Nuan back to China had been a very difficult decision to make, it was possible that Malaysia might see a second Giant Panda cub again, in the not too distant future.

"Nuan Nuan (meaning 'warmth'), as its name suggests has brought so much joy to all Malaysians and visitors over the past 26 months with its characteristics," he said, adding the public could still visit Nuan Nuan at GPCC on every weekend and public holiday until Nov 12.

Nuan Nuan, which means warmth, was born on Aug 18 at GPCC, about 15 months after the arrival of her parents, Xing Xing and Liang Liang in Malaysia on May 21, 2014, in conjunction with the 40th anniversary of the Malaysian-Chinese Diplomatic Relationship.

The pair of Giant Pandas will be in Malaysia for a 10-year term.

In the agreement signed between the two countries on June 15, 2012, any Giant Panda cub born in Malaysia shall be returned to China once the cub reached its maturity age of two years. — Bernama